By Dylan Reynolds, The Open Wheel
The INDYCAR season continues this weekend with the NTT INDYCAR SERIES 2021 Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. The Open Wheel will be covering the action all weekend so stay tuned to this site and our Twitter page @openwh33l for all of the latest news.
Photo by Parker Hall/The Open Wheel
Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Preview: Cooper Tires Indy Lights Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio – Spotter Guide – Race 1: Saturday, July 3, 2021 4:20PM (ET) Peacock & Race 2: Sunday, July 4, 2021 9:50AM (ET) Peacock – David Malukas holds a narrow 8 point lead over fellow contenders Kyle Kirkwood and Linus Lundqvist in what has been a thrilling championship race to follow so far this season in Indy Lights. Andretti Autosport has won the last four Lights races at Mid-Ohio so watch out for Kyle Kirkwood in particular this weekend. His teammates Danial Frost and Robert Megennis showed great pace in qualifying (Frost) and the races (Megennis) last time out at Road America.
NTT INDYCAR SERIES Preview: Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio at Mid-Ohio – Sunday, July 4, 2021 12:00PM (ET) NBC – Two full-time drivers return to their rides this weekend after being sidelined by injuries in Felix Rosenqvist and Rinus VeeKay. Ryan Norman will make his NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut in the Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing No. 52 that Cody Ware drove to a respectable result at Road America.
Previous driver experience at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course shows seven former winners in the field in Scott Dixon (6), Colton Herta (1), Josef Newgarden (1), Simon Pagenaud (1), Will Power (1), Graham Rahal (1), and Alexander Rossi (1). Power and Herta won the two races in the doubleheader in September last year. Looking at the box scores from 2020 Race 1 and Race 2, Rossi, Hunter-Reay, and Rahal in each finished in the Top 5 in both races. If that’s expanded to the Top 10, that trio is joined by Herta, Power, Newgarden, and Dixon. The active Top 5 in laps led at Mid-Ohio are Dixon (261), Power (205), Newgarden (89), Rossi (71), and Herta (61).
My pick to win: Race: Alex Palou – Why can’t Palou win two in a row and become the first three time winner this season? It almost seems silly to pick against him on a road course at this point. We all know about Ganassi’s success at Mid-Ohio as Dixon has dominated this event so many times in the past but Palou just seems to have “it” so far this season.
My fantasy.indycar.com picks: Alex Palou, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi, & Scott McLaughlin – You know my thoughts on Palou. Hunter-Reay and Rossi each had Top 5’s in each race of the doubleheader here last year and are well past for both a good showing and better result. The Andretti team was strong last year with Herta grabbing a win so this would seem like a logical time for them to deliver. McLaughlin should be a solid budget pick this weekend as the Team Penske cars have had plenty of luck at Mid-Ohio over the years. It wouldn’t be surprising to see a Top 5 or podium from McLaughlin this weekend.